EU Wheat Moving Sideways

28/09/16 -- EU grains closed mixed Wednesday. Markets are moving sideways with little clear direction.

The day ended with Nov 16 London up GBP0.45/tonne at GBP126.20/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was down EUR0.50/tonne at EUR161.00/tonne, Nov 16 corn was also down EUR0.50/tonne at EUR160.00/tonne and Nov 16 rapeseed fell EUR1.50/tonne to EUR373.75/tonne.

The Russian harvest is now reported to be 88.7% complete at 109.8 MMT. Wheat accounts for 74.2 MMT of that and barley a further 18.6 MMT (both 95% harvested). Corn harvesting is 20.7% complete at 3.1 MMT. Planting for the 2017 harvest is now 63% complete.

Winter plantings in Ukraine are slower at around a third done, with some concerns remaining over dryness. "This is behind the pace seen last autumn when below normal rainfall also hampered planting, and ultimately reduced the area of winter crops, including wheat and rapeseed," noted the HGCA.

There's talk of heavy rains in the east, and possible frost damage in the west, causing late problems for Australian crops just prior to harvesting. Temperatures in the west are forecast down to -4C, and parts of the eastern wheat belt could pick up rains of up to 100mm in the next few days, according to media reports.

Even if the rain doesn't damage yields then it could certainly lower wheat quality specifications in a year when this seems to be a common theme around the globe.

Russia's exports seem to be picking up now that the export duty on wheat has been abolished, with private firm Rusagrotrans forecasting these at 3.7-3.8 MMT in October (of which 3.0-3.1 MMT will be wheat) compared to exports of 3.5 MMT a year previously (of which 2.4 MMT was wheat).

Tunisia tendered for 67,000 MT of soft wheat, 42,000 MT of durum and 25,000 MT of feed barley.

Argentina is said to have exported 7.35 MMT of wheat in the first eight months of 2016, double the volume shipped out in the same period in 2015. Better production and the removal of export quotas/taxes will have helped. Brazil has been the top buyer.